GOSPEL MEDITATION # 35
Peter Reports to the Church
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- From memory, determine the central points.
- Gentiles are now believing in Messiah Jesus. This is nothing less than a seismic change for the Jewish followers of Jesus.
- Peter, the lead apostle, confirms the events at Caesarea with Cornelius and his “household.” The Holy Spirit indeed has fallen on Gentiles.
- Peter, as part of his report, goes back to the baptism of John in the Jordan.
- Peter recalled the words of Jesus who said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
- An important note is necessary. The word “with” in the first part of the sentence above could be rendered “in.” And it is clearly, in the Greek text, “in the Holy Spirit” and not “with the Holy Spirit” in the second part of the sentence.
- This reading, “in” is more in line with the fact that the believer is placed “into” the body of Christ. Theologians vary here. (see Romans 6:3)
- Baptized in the Holy Spirit means a new placement, a new identity, as opposed to a being “anointed” with the Holy Spirit.
- Gentiles have now been given the same gift as Jewish followers of Jesus. Peter could not then reject as being brothers the Gentiles in Caesarea.
- Those of the Church in Jerusalem “fell Silent” and glorified God. What this would have looked like is not clear. Did a worship service break out? Were people shouting “hallelujah? Were the believers offering words of praise? We simply do not know. We do know that they admitted that “God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
- “Repentance” likely means a change of heart and mind; Gentiles were now embracing Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for. Life here is zoe and refers to ultimate life, eternal life.
- This alone is the one and only significant event.